The Best of Moscow (1 day)

The largest city of the European continent with the population of more than 13 million residents, Moscow is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world. A fascinating city to wander around, stunning cathedrals, churches, and palaces lie side-by-side with bleak grey monuments and remains from the Soviet state. In addition to its numerous historical and cultural landmarks, Moscow is home to world-class museums, theaters and art galleries. Being a modern city, Moscow has a lot to offer those who enjoy a spirit of beautiful life, a spirit of richness and luxury. Moscow remains open, hospitable and festive, and has the right, as ever, to be called the heart of Russia. This one-day Moscow tour will let you see and enjoy the highlights of our capital city.

History of Moscow

The first mention of Moscow appears in the chronicles for 1147, almost a century before the Mongol-Tatar invasion. In those times Moscow, a small settlement on the banks of the Moskva River, belonged to Prince Yury Dolgoruky. At the prince’s order a wooden fortress (Kremlin) was erected on a high hill above the river. In the 13th century Moscow became the centre of the independent Vladimir-Suzdal principality. Moscow expanded its territory until it reached supremacy over all the other Russian principalities, though still a Tatar vassal state. In 1320s the Orthodox church moved its administration from Vladimir to Moscow and that rose its prestige. Moscow developed into a stable and prosperous principality, known as Grand Duchy of Moscow, for many years and attracted a large number of refugees from across Russia. When the Grand Duchy of Moscow evolved into the Tsardom of Russia, Moscow remained as the political and economic centre for most of the Tsardom’s history. Under Peter the Great’s leadership, Tsardom of Russia was transformed into the Russian Empire, and in 1712 the capital was moved from Moscow to the newly founded St. Petersburg. In 1918 after October revolution capital status passed to Moscow by the Soviet government headed by Vladimir Lenin. During World War II, the city became a major battleground and a target for invading troops. Most civilians were evacuated from the city as Soviet soldiers fought the Nazis in the Battle of Moscow from October 1941 to January 1942. The defeat of the Nazis in this battle was a major turning point in the war. After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Moscow continued to serve as the capital, this time of a new entity, the Russian Federation.


Red Square

Its history goes back to the 1490s when a new red brick Kremlin was built in Moscow. The old Russian word for ‘beautiful’ and ‘red’ was the same; so Red Square means “beautiful square”. Standing in Red Square, you can see the most significant buildings of the Russian capital: the Kremlin, GUM department store, the State History Museum, Lenin’s Mausoleum and of course, St Basil’s Cathedral.

The Kremlin

The Kremlin is located in the heart of Moscow and serves as the presidential residence. The word Kremlin means “fortress inside a city”, and in fact, the Moscow Kremlin is a medieval city-fortress rising above the Moskva River on Borovitsky Hill. This citadel complex includes six palaces, eight cathedrals and churches, and massive red brick walls with twenty Kremlin Towers.

St. Basil’s Cathedral

Bright-coloured, onion-shaped domes of the fabulous St. Basil’s Cathedral are a symbol of the Russia around the world. Officially known as the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, this church was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible from 1555 to 1561 to commemorate a military victory, the capture of the Khanate of Kazan.

Novodevichy (New Maiden) Convent

The great medieval architecture masterpiece of 16 century is a peaceful retreat in the bustling city of Moscow. As a religious centre, this convent was in its day second only to Kremlin, and among other daughters and wives of the Russian Tsars, Peter the Great’s half-sister Sofia was exiled here in 1679.

Vorobyovy (Sparrow) Hills

Named after the village Vorobyovo, Vorobyovy (Sparrow) Hills is a green hill on the right side of Moskva river. This huge park zone has a river station, pedestrian embankment and the observation platform which gives the best panoramic view of the city.

Moscow Metro

The Metro began operating in Moscow in 1935 with a single 11 km line connecting just thirteen stations, but it has since grown into the world’s fourth busiest transit system, spanning more than 300 kilometers and offering over 230 stops along the way. The Moscow metro remains the most reliable form of transport in the city, and more besides: many major stations were constructed as luxurious “palaces for the people”.


Day 1

We will take you around the city’s centre as well as to the famous observation platform Vorobyovy (Sparrow) Hills, which gives a breathtaking view of the metropolis. This is the best way to know the city and learn about the history of the Russian capital. On our way we will make several photo stops; one of them is the stunning view of the Kremlin from the embankment of St. Sofia, walk the famous pedestrian street Arbat and do souvenir shopping there, see the Seven Sisters, skyscrapers designed in the Stalinist style and the gold plated domes of Novodevichy (New Maiden) convent.

Continue sightseeing in Moscow with a visit to the Kremlin (residence of Tsars and Patriarchs), Armoury Museum with unique collection of gold, silver and jewelry, beautifully decorated royal carriages and unique religious artefacts. You will see the famous Kremlin highlights created by Russian medieval craftsmen Tsar Bell and Tsar Cannon, which weigh over 240 tons together, and visit several of the Kremlin’s cathedrals.

After the Kremlin tour we invite you to have a quick stroll around one of central Europe’s largest squares, the Red Square, right next to the walls of the ancient Kremlin. Then you will visit one of the Moscow’s symbols, the spectacular St. Basil’s Cathedral commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century to commemorate a military victory. You can explore the famous GUM department store and make a wish at the beginning of all Russian roads at Kilometer Zero, see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Alexandrovsky Garden – the place where Russians come to remember their family, friends and companion-soldiers who lost their lives in the most brutal war of the 20th century.

Enjoy a traditional Russian lunch at the local restaurant.

We continue our tour in one of the USSR’s most extravagant architectural projects, Moscow Metropolitan. The artwork of the “underground city” includes marble pillars, crystal chandeliers, grand bronze statues and breathtaking wall designs. The Moscow Metro is the only underground system in the world where every station has a unique design and many stations are stunning architectural masterpieces. Our Metro tour will let you enjoy the impressive interiors of Circle, Red and Green lines stations.

You will be delivered to the Leningradsky railway station to take a high-speed train back to St. Petersburg.